Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Sep 2013 10:38 UTC

I've been thinking a bit more about those iPhone 5C/5S weekend sales figures, and while it is certainly impressive, if you compare it to the iPhone 5's first weekend sales figures, it's actually quite a step backwards for Apple. The issue here - something many sites and even Apple itself doesn't want to focus on - is that the iPhone 5C/5S is available to a lot more people than the iPhone 5 was.

The iPhone 5 was available to 720 million people at launch, and sold 5 million units. This is a penetration of 0.69%. The iPhone 5C and 5S, however, are available to 2078 million people, and sold 9 million units, which constitutes a penetration of 0.43%. So, Apple has two new models to advertise and lure consumers with instead of one, and has a huge additional market (China) to address, yet it failed to capitalise on either of these two factors.

What this shows is that while the sales figure is still pretty darn impressive, it's not nearly as groundbreaking if you put it in perspective. Looking at it this way, the so-called record breaking 9 million figure can easily be explained away by Apple almost tripling its launch weekend audience, instead of an increasing popularity of the iPhone.

The only reason I'm writing this is to illustrate how numbers are entirely arbitrary, and it's easy to make silly comparisons and claim an arbitrary victory - or, change perspective a bit and claim arbitrary defeat, as I've done here.

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RE: Comment by majipoor
by galvanash on Thu 26th Sep 2013 00:31 UTC in reply to "Comment by majipoor"
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If you care, then Apple did actually and without any doubt make a lot more money last week-end compared to last year.

Yes, there is no doubt about that - agreed. But last year they did not launch in China until their next quarter - and they moved 2 million iPhone 5 in that launch... They also did not count 4S sales last year, so comparison is problematic because this time they did count 5C sales.

Their launch weekend was great, and their quarterly is going to be equally great. They did a wonderful job positioning all the pieces to make sure everything looks wonderful when you look at it on a compressed timescale - this is the magic quarter for them so shifting things around a bit to highlight it makes sense for them.

Are they actually increasing profitability? No, their margins have been dropping steadily for a while now. Is actual volume going up year on year? Won't really know until the yearly reporting because of the change in the launch windows and the introduction of the 5C - it probably will go up though, I just don't think by as much as most people looking at the numbers with blinders on think. Someone mentioned 80%!! HAH - no way in hell - it won't even be half that.

Frankly, although I sound like I'm being down on them, I think this sort of steady sustained growth in volume is probably a good thing overall. The stock market analyst punished their stock price going into this launch with laughably low volume predictions and they definitely blew by those easily. I think they will have a great year, just not as great as this 5 million vs 9 million comparison implies.

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